Buhari made the statement on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, while speaking at the opening ceremony of the Nigeria-China Business Forum in Beijing.
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration’s policies will make Nigeria the investment destination of choice.
“Although the Nigerian and Chinese business communities have recorded tremendous successes in bilateral trade, there is a large trade imbalance in favour of China as Chinese exports represent some 80 per cent of the total bilateral trade volumes,” Buhari said according to a statement released by his media aide, Femi Adesina.
“Therefore, I would like to challenge the business communities in both countries to work together to reduce the trade imbalance. You must also imbibe the spirit of having a mutually beneficial relationship in your business transactions.
“You must not see Nigeria as a consumer market alone, but as an investment destination where goods can be manufactured and consumed locally. Last year during our meeting in New York, President Xi Jinping and I agreed to explore ways of practical cooperation in trade, investment, finance, human resources, agriculture and fishing.
“We also agreed to strengthen industrial capacity cooperation in the manufacture of cars, household appliances, construction materials, textiles, food processing, and others. This is in line with our government's focus on import substitution through the creation of a diversified and inclusive economy that will meet most of our consumption needs.
“Already, our Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is working on projects and programmes that will correct the wrongs of the past and enhance the ease of doing business in Nigeria. The ministry's efforts will be complemented by investment tax incentive programmes, public sector reform initiatives as well as our zero tolerance stance on corruption.
“We also have an aggressive but realistic infrastructure development programme that forms the backbone of our economic diversification policy. We are embarking on major power, road, rail, seaport and airport development programmes that will enhance the competitiveness of manufacturing businesses in Nigeria.
“The future is bright and I am very confident that our policies will make Nigeria the investment destination of your choice.
“We are committed to protecting all lives and property within our borders. You can therefore be rest assured that your investments in Nigeria will be safe and secure,” Buhari added.
Adesina had earlier said that Buhari’s trip to China is aimed at securing greater support from Beijing for the development of Nigeria’s infrastructure.
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